I arrived in Fayetteville at about 5 PM on Thursday. The main street near the University of Arkansas campus is Dickson Street. Local people claim that Dickson Street is the center of dining and nightlife in Northwest Arkansas and I think that is correct. I met my clients and dined at Doe's Eat Place, a unique steak joint that also serves beef enchiladas as a house specialty. After a belly-busting meal, we headed to the Hog Haus microbrewery and enjoyed freshly-brewed beer. After the brew was consumed, my clients headed for home, and I headed for Jose's. Things got interesting.
Thursday night is Bike Night on Dickson Street, and there were about 200 or so big cruisers (Harleys, mostly) parked curbside and rolling up and down the strip. Most of the bikers were at Jose's Streetside, a patio and music stage just off Dickson. There was a pretty competent pair of guitarists - Darren and Russ - playing and singing blues and covers of various classic rock tunes (the Doors, Van Morrison, the usual suspects). Sitting in on harmonica was Bob Coleman, a photographer for the local newspaper who plays in a local blues band. He also owns a bad ass chopper. I had a nice chat with Bob; we moaned to each other regarding the sad state of the live music business and how things ain't what they used to be (true, but not an uplifting topic). I headed down the road to George's Majestic Lounge.
Now, the Majestic is a serious venue - big room, big stage, serious sound system, lots of lights. There was a three piece band (guitar, bass and some guy on a drum machine) playing Jimmy Buffet tunes and other "easy listening" music. The players were competent, but the sound reminded me of what you might hear in the lounge at a Holiday Inn in Paducah Kentucky - a bit too much cheese for my taste. The facility is awesome, however - the Majestic was named one of the best college bars in America by Playboy Magazine a few years ago. The joint is in its 80th year of operation!! The Majestic hosts the big acts that pass through - G-Love and Special Sauce, Blues Traveler, Tommy Castro's Blues Review (with Ronnie Baker Brooks and Magic Dick). Very cool!
After my short visit to the Majestic, I hit the hotel and crashed; got up and headed back to Chicago on Friday morning. It turned out to be an interesting weekend - more on this tomorrow....